Dave Chappelle

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Dave Chappelle
Dave Chappelle

David Chappelle (born August 24, 1973 in Washington, D.C.) is an African American comedian, actor, and social commentator. He attended elementary school in Silver Spring, Maryland. As a child Chappelle lived in Yellow Springs, Ohio, where his father taught voice and music at Antioch College, and where Chappelle attended junior high school. After his parents' divorce, Chappelle moved to Washington, D.C., with his mother (a Unitarian minister). He attended high school in Washington, but spent his summers with his father in Yellow Springs. Chappelle began playing comedy clubs in his native Washington, D.C., when he was as young as 14 years old, while studying acting at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts. Within a year, he had a chance to perform at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York. He was promptly booed off stage.

Undeterred, Chappelle became a hit at clubs along the East Coast, refining sets which were laid-back and socially conscious. By 1992, he had appeared on HBO's Russell Simmons' Def Comedy Jam. Catching the eye of Whoopi Goldberg, he became the youngest comic to have a featured spot on Comic Relief VI, at age 20.

His first major role was in Robin Hood: Men in Tights. Chappelle turned down the role of Bubba in the 1994 movie Forrest Gump, thinking the movie would be a box office bust, and has since admitted to deeply regretting it. He later appeared as the abrasive comedian in the remake of The Nutty Professor, had a minor role in Con Air, had a supporting role in Martin Lawrence's Blue Streak, and then wrote and starred in Half Baked, a cult film about a group of pot-smoking best friends trying to get their friend out of jail. Chappelle appeared as himself in an episode of The Larry Sanders Show. In that performance, Chappelle and the executives of the show's nameless television network satirized the treatment that scriptwriters and show creators are subject to, as well as the executives' knee-jerk stereotyping when it comes to race.

In 2003, Chappelle debuted his own weekly television show on Comedy Central, Chappelle's Show. His sketch comedy, which (like All in the Family before it) heavily uses racial stereotypes and slurs, including but not limited to Chappelle's African American heritage, quickly achieved great popularity. By the end of the second season, it was one of the highest-rated shows on basic cable, and second only to South Park on Comedy Central. Due to the popularity of his show, Comedy Central's parent company Viacom cut a $50 million deal with Dave Chappelle that will continue the production of "Chappelle's Show" for two more years and will allow Chappelle to do side projects.

One of his most well-known skits has him portraying the late Rick James during his drug years, and the phrase "I'm Rick James, bitch!" has now become a part of popular culture.

Chappelle lives with his wife and children on a farm just outside Yellow Springs, Ohio. When he is not touring or engaged in filming for television or the big screen, he can be seen in the shops and markets of the small college town. He converted to Islam around 1998. He told TIME Magazine in a May 2005 interview that he does not often discuss his religion publicly because he does not feel qualified to represent the Islamic faith before the public.

Chappelle's Show is on hiatus as of May 2005 while he sorts out unspecified personal issues. On May 11, news sources (most notably Entertainment Weekly) indicated that Chappelle had checked himself into a psychiatric facility in South Africa. On May 14, Time announced that one of their reporters, Christopher John Farley, had interviewed Chappelle in South Africa, and that no psychiatric treatments were occurring or necessary. More recent news has located Chappelle back in the United States, at his house in Ohio. [1] (http://www.realitytvworld.com/index/articles/story.php?s=1003386)


External links


  • DaveChappelle.com (http://www.davechappelle.com) - Chapelle's official website and forums.
  • Dave Chappelle's Show (http://www.chappellecenter.com) - Chappelle Center, a fan website for Dave Chappelle's Show
  • Comedy Central: Chappelle's Show (http://www.comedycentral.com/tv_shows/chappellesshow/) - Comedy Central's official website for Chappelle's Show.
  • "Chappelle's No-Show" (http://www.ew.com/ew/report/0,6115,1059677_3|13537||0_0_,00.html) - Entertainment Weekly article that originally reported on Chappelle's stay at a mental health facility.
  • "Durban Renewal" (http://www.ew.com/ew/report/0,6115,1061578_3|13537||0_0_,00.html) - a follow-up article including Chapelle's side of the story.
  • "On the Beach With Dave Chappelle" (http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1061415,00.html) - interview with Chapelle in South Africa by Time Magazinesv:David Chappelle

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